By HO HOFFMAN
WESTFIELD TWP. â€”Gokey and The Goalie sounds like a great title for a childâ€™s fantasy book, but Wednesday night Rachel Gokey and netminder Karly Beuck were the main characters in Cloverleafâ€™s 1-0 Suburban League girls soccer win over Copley.
Gokey scored the game- winner with 11:24 remaining and Beuck shut down the Indiansâ€™ offense with eight huge saves.
The win not only puts the Colts (3-0-1, 2-0-0) in first place in the SL, but stops a 0-8-3 regular season streak against Copley (2-1-1, 1-1-0).
â€œI knew it was a big game and so did everybody else,â€ Beuck said. â€œOur main goal this year is to win the Suburban League and we knew we had to beat Copley to accomplish it.â€
Beuck, a junior, did her part by coming up with big save after big save. In the first half, she stopped Copleyâ€™s Elizabeth Green. In the second, she stymied Liz Moyer and Maddi Buckham.
Beuck iced the game when she pulled in a wide open shot from 10 yards out by Nikki Mattei with seconds remaining in the match.
â€œThe Cloverleaf goalie was a difference maker tonight,â€ Copley coach Tina Salem said. â€œI thought both Greenâ€™s and Matteiâ€™s shots were in and she stopped them both. We had our chances, but couldnâ€™t finish and that was due primarily to the play of the goalie.â€
There were other heroes for the Colts. Megan Jackson, Aly Rice, Hanna Cavalier and, of course, Gokey were outstanding in the midfield. Copley was never able to sustain an advantage coming out of its own end because of their play.
â€œOur midfielders played brilliantly tonight,â€ Cloverleaf coach Val Baughman said. â€œLast year when we played Copley, the Mattei sisters just ran through us and around us all night. Tonight, I think we shut them down pretty good (three total shots).â€
Cloverleaf still had to score to win and for almost 70 minutes it looked like a 0-0 tie was in the making. The Colts had some good opportunities, but just couldnâ€™t finish it off.
Heather Buckwald hit one off the crossbar, Cassidy Duncan sailed one over and Kelli Slavens sent a shot off the post on a breakaway in the first half as the Colts mustered only four shots.
In the second half, Cloverleaf only had one attempt, but that was all it took.
The winner started with an innocent throw-in by Jackson from the left sideline. Rice took the ball and moved it just outside the goal area and got a foot on it. It then bounced off of Slavens toward Gokey.
â€œI saw the ball coming towards me, but I had to get around a defender to get to it,â€ Gokey said of her third goal of the season. â€œI got around the defender and just kicked the ball towards the net and it went in.â€
Hoffman may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.